Lake Titicaca - the highest lake in the world*.
We ventured here from our party hostel in La Paz, in need of a break from the booze and some peace and quiet. Getting there was an adventure. We left bright and early on the bus, we didn't think this would be anything out of the ordinary until suddenly, a body of water was in front of us. Everyone was ordered off the bus and onto a couple of little boats. That was the easy part, we were on the other side of the river, but the bus and more importantly, our bags, remained on the other side. It was then we realised our bus appeared to be driving into the river/lake. It drove onto I guess what you would call a "barge" - but it was the dodgiest barge I have ever seen in my life (look to the album for a photo). It was basically a giant wooden raft, and the bus appeared to be sitting very precariously. However, it made it, and we continued on to Copacabana.
Copacabana is a small lake side town, has a similar feel to a beach side town. Lots of hippies and very relaxed. It was here we reunited with Tommi and Lyndell, our friends from the salt flats. We were told to try the trout, seemed to be about all they ate, so we ventured out as a group. There were about 25 trout stalls across the river bank. All with the exact same menu... How could you pick which one to go to? So we went for the one with the pet goat out the front. Dinner and a pet! The trout was amazingly fresh and delicious. However, it was here we learnt that you have to be very careful ordering trout (trucha) in Spanish. As the word is allegedly very similar to vagina... Don't want to order a garlic vagina for dinner...
The following day, we decided we should do some inca trail practice. As we were meant to be walking the 45km trek in five days time. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute! There was a decent hill in town that had a commanding view of the lake. So we decided to head up for a sunset stroll. Given the altitude and the steep stairs, we were out of breath quickly and realised that we aren't as fit as we once were. However, we made it to the top ready to watch a beautiful sunset. That is, until the cloud appeared and blocked all signs of the sun... Still. The views were great. We took a different route down, slipping and sliding the entire way. Given the fact I seem to have a constant ear infection (aka terrible balance) I took a couple of tumbles and somehow ended up with dirt on my face... It was when we made it to the bottom we heard the sounds of a band in the distance. We followed the shore and discovered a band and numerous people dancing waving white flags. We had no idea what was going on, but joined in. The song wouldn't stop. It went on and on and on. The sun had well and truly set and it was freezing. Yet everyone continued to dance. It was only when we made to leave we were handed the pamphlets with pictures of Jesus.
The following day we headed to Isla del Sol with Tommi and Lyndell. The boat ride there was interesting. There was a moment quite similar to the Uruguay to Argentina crossing, where the boat just stopped for a while. But soon continued on and after a couple of hours, we made it to our destination. We ended up at a hostel owned by Freddy who was a toothless man who loved to make a joke (in Spanish). The communication barrier was tough. But we figured it out mostly. There's lots to see on the island, so we adventured to see some ruins located a short walk from where we stayed. On the northern end of the island. On the way, it was as though we past all the animals heading to the ark. Donkeys, cows, pigs etc. all seemed to be taking themselves home. As it started to get dark. We decided to follow them.
There is the bare minimum on the island, and given Justine's intolerances, the main meal was dinner (otherwise she lived on lays chips and bananas, Kim and I were luckier and could eat a chicken roll). So, we decided wine is the best bet. Wine and of course, trout.
Freddy took a bit of a liking to Tommi, and clearly thought he was a proper man. For that reason, he let us take the boat out. We had sandwiches, music and cameras and went on a little adventure. It was a row boat so Tommi took charge, but then I showed off my skills from rowing back in the day. It was a fun way to see more of the lake. Beach and sunshine on one side, and snow capped mountains in the distance.
After a relaxing few days in the sunshine, and Kim copping some serious sunburn, we headed back to the mainland of Bolivia and ready to venture to Peru.
* I think - facts have been forgotten and not checked.